‘The Socialist Revolution East and West’ — A Critical Assessment

This text is the introductory (and critical) presentation written for the republication of an anonymous text that circulated among certain circles of the British state left in the late 1970s and 1980s. The status of the text, and the motivation for its republication, are explained at the outset below. In due course the original document which the following text deals with will be uploaded to this site in its entirety.

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The following text is a document written by a member of the International Marxist Group (the then British Section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International) over 1978-79 and previously unpublished elsewhere. The principal objective of the author was a refutation of the argument—found in its most developed form in the contemporary Eurocommunist tradition, but also visible in the work of Perry Anderson and, to a certain degree, in that of Ernest Mandel—that in the west of Europe, a strategy for socialist revolution based on a Leninist conception of ‘insurrectionism’ was inadequate to resolve the complexities of a bourgeois class rule founded upon the predominance of parliamentary institutions and structures. In order to refute this idea, the author presents a detailed survey of the twentieth-century European revolutionary experience, east and west, from the revolutionary wave following the First World War, through the Spanish revolution of the 1930s and the Communist Party-led uprisings during the later part of the Second World War, up to the French May 68 and the Portuguese revolution of 1974-75.

More (pdf: 94KB): The Socialist Revolution East and West

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